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PSY240H1 Study Guide - Structured Interview, Differential Diagnosis, Autonomic Nervous System

Course Code
Neil Rector

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Psychological disorder: something which presents a psychological
dysfunction within the individual and is associated with stress and
impairment, and it is a response which is not typical or culturally
expected of the said person
psychological dysfunction: cognitive, emotional, behaviour change etc.
x cognitive: presence of delusions
o depression: indecisiveness
o anxiety: fear or threat
x emotional
o depression: sad mood
x behavioural
o depression: change in eating disorder
o anxiety: avoidence/escape behaviour
different degrees of dysfunction and can be represented on a continuum
x hard to draw the line
x distinguished based on time (ie. depression is 2 weeks)
x distinguished based on distress or impairment
o problem distinguishing psychopath based on this criteria
o problem based on impairment criteria is not good b/c ppl. Can
suppress them through avoidance and escape
x distinguished based on atypical response
o problem is that it is hard to define what is atypical
o very subjective and culturally dependent
o atypical if it violates some kind of social norm
culture relativism: abnormality can only be defined in reference to the
norms of a culture or society
The Mental Health Professionals
clinical psychologist (Ph.D., Psy.D.)
Psychiatrist (M.D., F.R.C.P. (C))
x Can prescribe medication usually look at problem from biological

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Psychoanalyst (M.D., Ph.D.)
x long term psychological talk therapy
Social Workers (M.S.W.)
x works with families
Counseling Psychologist (Ph.D.)
Mental Health Professional
Consumer of science: enhancing the practice
evaluator of science: determining the effectiveness of the practice
creator of science: conducting research that leads to new procedures
useful in practice
Studying Psychological Disorders
Focus: clinical description
x prevalence of disorder (how many people in the population as a
whole experience the disorder)
x incidence (how many new cases arise within a given period of time)
x how does the problem onset? (ex. apparent/sudden and acute or
insidious and slow?)
x course of the disorder (episodic, chronic etc.)
x prognosis (anticipated outcome)
Causation (etiology)
x biological
x psychological vulnerability
x social factors
Treatment and Outcome
History of Psychopathology: Demonology
An evil being, such as the devil, may dwell within a person
ex. in Chinese , Egyptians and the Greeks
predominate perspective from 11th-15th Century
13-16 Century, people obsessed with the devil
some people internalized the belief that they were witches and may have
actually suffered from psychological disorders, most ppl however were
not ill
non-forced confessions in England

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History of Psychopathology: The Somatogenic Perspective
Hippocrates (460-377AD) ± Father of modern medicine
regarded the brain as the organ of wisdom
deviations resulted from brain abnormality (soma = body)
first classification of abnormal problems:
x 1. Mania
x 2. Melancholia
x 3. Frenitious (brain fever)
4 fluids theory (blood, black bile, yellow bile, phlegm)
x imbalance of fluids resulted in mental health problems
treatment included: stroll, blood letting, nutrition
History of Psychopathology: Asylums & Biological Base
germ theory of disease resulted from discovery and linkage of syphilis
and mental health problems
ECT, insulin injection therapy
neuroleptics: neurotransmitters can reduce psychotic emergence
confinement began in 15th and 16C
St. Mary of Bethelem
Pinel: primary figure in moral treatment movement which introduced
humanitarian treatments in asylums (usually reserved to upper classes)
drugs turned out to be used in treatment
first asylum in Canada opened in Quebec (1850-1900)
x mirrored the conditions of early European asylums
History of Psychopathology: Psychogenesis
psychological explanations for mental disorders
Mesmer (1743-1815): used rods in bathtubs to hypnotize his patients,
Charcot (1825-1893): hypnosis, meets with Bruerer and Bruerer is most
famous for Anna O. by helping her to talk about past upsetting events
this is refered to as the cathartic method
x Talking with patients under hypnosis
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